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Police firing in Fort Worth: Officer is charged with murdering a woman in her home

FORT WORTH – Former Fort Worth police officer, who had fatally shot a woman through her bedroom window this weekend, was charged with murder on Monday and jailed, according to the Fort Worth Police Department . , Policeman Aaron Y. Dean resigned on Monday hours before the police chief intended to release him in the growing anger and frustration of the community after wife Atatiana Jefferson was killed while playing a video game her 8-year-old nephew.

Credit Sheriff Office of Tarrant County

Ed Kraus, the provisional police chief of Fort Worth, had a press conference in the afternoon He informed that the Department was carrying out a criminal investigation of the official's actions and that he had turned to the FBI for the possibility of initiating a civil rights investigation.

"I understand," Chief Kraus said of the widespread public outrage that followed the release of a body-camera video. was a policeman who had sneaked into her backyard, shining a light in her bedroom window, shouting, "Lift up your hands! Show me your hands! "Immediately before firing a single fatal shot .

"Nobody looked at this video and said there was a doubt that this officer was acting inappropriately," the boss said.

S. Lee Merritt, a civil rights lawyer representing Ms. Jefferson's family, said the arrest was due to domestic pressure in connection with the case, but that in Fort Worth, where black residents have long complained of ill-treatment a broader cultural change is needed The hands of the police.

Since June, there have been six deadly shootings by police officers in Fort Worth.

"Murder charges and arrests are a good start – it's more than we're used to seeing." Mr Merritt said in an interview on Monday night. "The family withholds their feelings until this official is properly prosecuted."

Mr. Dean, who is white, has been with the Fort Worth police since April 2018, the chief said. He had graduated from the Police Academy a month earlier, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, a state regulator.

wife. Jefferson, who is black, was killed after her house caught the attention of a neighbor who called an emergency number at 2:23 am on Saturday, fearing that the front and side doors had been open for several hours. She died in her bedroom after police tried to provide medical help.

"I can not stop crying," said Lillie Biggins, a longtime community leader in Fort Worth who had recently served a race and culture task force for the city. "My heart is downright depressed."

Michael Bell, senior pastor of St. Stephen's First Church in Fort Worth, was one of the critics that the officials had not knocked on the door or otherwise identified themselves to wife Jefferson to hand over a chance to answer.

Parishioners also cited the seven police shootings since early summer, six of them deadly, including the killing of a man the police believed he was carrying a rifle but actually torched a flashlight on officers after he had barricaded himself in a house.

"We are angry," said Rev. Kyev Tatum, a pastor of the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church at Fort Worth. "It's a trauma now, it's unaddressed, toxic stress."

In the controversy that followed the arrest of Ms. Craig and her daughter in 2016, the city council set up a task force to address issues of race and health The Task Force issued a series of recommendations last year, including a way to engage citizens in police department oversight and recommendations to diversify the police.

The city council approved several in September Task Force recommendations, including police surveillance, a police cadet program, and the creation of a diversity and inclusion program.

Ms. Jefferson, 28, was killed weeks after convicting Amber R. Guyger, a white former Dallas police officer who shot her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment last year and sentenced her to 10 years in prison this month lt was. The case was one of a handful of police shootings brought to justice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in recent years. In another case, a police officer shot an unarmed black 15-year-old as he sat in the passenger seat of a car. The officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison last year.

"Between these shootings and the attempts of all these different things we literally had no chance to recover," said Omar Suleiman, an Imam and activist of the Dallas area. "There is only this deep anger and pain on the streets that you can not find safe in your home, you can not be safe in your home, you can not be safe in your car."

Chief Kraus said he regretted that the police had released photos of a gun found on the floor under the window in Mrs. Jefferson's bedroom after she was killed – though he refused to say so or whether the policeman saw it before he shot her.

She had every right to have a gun in her bedroom, the boss said. "We're a homeowner in the state of Texas," he said. "I can not imagine that most of us – if we thought we had someone outside our home who was not supposed to be, and we had access to a firearm – would not act as they did."

Fort Worth is at least 30 minutes drive from Dallas and has its own community with its own local politics, cultural identity and history of relations with the police. But the two cities – eye-catching Dallas and down-home Fort Worth – anchor the sprawling metropolis where people from the smaller suburbs commute to work and meet in the middle for Dallas Cowboys games.

On Sunday, activists standing outside the Dallas County courthouse earlier this month to demand justice in the case against Ms. Guyger also came to Fort Worth to oversee Ms. Jefferson. "I saw many of the same faces," said Mr. Suleiman.

wife. Jefferson, who graduated from Tay, graduated in 2014 from Xavier University of Louisiana, the country's only black Catholic college, with a degree in biology. She worked in her modest, blue-paneled house in Fort Worth, selling medical equipment while studying to apply to the medical school.

After living in the Dallas area, she recently moved to Fort Worth to look after her mother and children, her 8-year-old nephew, who showed her how to mow and pamper the farm. He was in the room when his aunt was killed.

On Monday, the boy was playing on a sidewalk in downtown Dallas while his family held a press conference nearby. He wore a long-sleeved shirt with BMX biker graphics and blue jeans and expressed his knowledge of sports cars, including a Corvette.

Jefferson's mother Yolanda was missing at the family's press conference. She had been in a hospital being treated for health problems when the police told her that a police officer had shot her daughter, and she stayed there on Monday.

"She feels helpless," said Ms. Carr.

Marina Trahan Martinez reported from Fort Worth and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Sarah Mervosh from New York. Dave Montgomery reported from Austin, Texas.

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